Monday, August 20, 2012

Two Recent Vids

"Turn Your Back On The Wind"/"Believe In Love" (1970) was one of The Fourmyula's final, unsuccessful singles, but it has since achieved renown on their various Best Of/Compilation releases. It hasn't been available on youtube up till now except in a recent live version here. I hereby plug that gap:

My visuals are the heartbreaking last few minutes of King Vidor's Stella Dallas (1937) w/ Barbara Stanwyck in the title role. The story is as follows: Stella wants what's best for her daughter, Laurel (Anne Shirley), and she realizes that Laurel will only be able to 'marry up' if she exits from her daughter's life (Stella's hard-scrabble roots constantly show through, vulgarities cause embarrassment, etc.). Laurel, however, won't abandon her mother just to better herself. So Stella has to fool Laurel that she, Stella wants her daughter out of the way so that she can herself pursue another husband. In the final scene Stella watches her daughter's wedding from out in the street in the rain, happy that her ruse has secured her daughter's future and probable happiness. It's a 'two boxer', and a triumph for both Vidor and Stanwyck. The obvious strong case for Stanwyck as one of the 2 or 3 greatest screen actresses starts here perhaps.

Soon after the release of Bob Fosse's film Sweet Charity (1969) (which adapted Fellini's Nights of Cabiria, via the original stage-show that Fosse also directed and choreographed), Paul Mauriat rearranged and reorchestrated part of Cy Coleman's Overture into this magnificent pop-classical/lounge band confection. This piece of music was used as background music, e.g., for events montages, throughout the 1970s.

Fosse's film starred the great Shirley MacLaine as Charity Valentine. The film's a bit of a dud overall. but MacLaine is dynamite, as is much of the music and dancing. Many of the stills I've used come from a very warm appreciation of the film due to Ken Anderson here.

If you want to see what a more successful, ultra-dramatic version of the underlying story looks like, watch the ending of Nights of Cabiria here. In my perfect Hollywood-world, MacLaine would have got to star in a straight remake of Nights of Cabiria as well as Fosse's musical. Oh well.

Note that Mauriat's Sweet Charity first appeared on his album Un Jour, Un Enfant (1969):

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